Multiple Sclerosis can be difficult to diagnose as there is no one test; neurologists usually have to eliminate other conditions and diseases first. Also, symptoms of MS are most often intermittent and appear and disappear over long periods of time. Many people with MS would usually experience seemly unconnected symptoms for months or often years before a diagnosis is confirmed.
A GP will refer a person onto a neurologist if they suspect a patient’s illness or difficulty is caused by a neurological problem. The neurologist will perform a number of tests to confirm or eliminate MS. Typical tests and strategies many include some, but not all, of the following:
The results of these tests and examinations may take a while and as symptoms can appear and disappear it can be difficult to perform some of the tests.
If you are diagnosed with MS your neurologist will inform you as soon as possible.
The time surrounding diagnosis can be a very emotional period. Prior to diagnosis there can be a lot of frustration due to unexplainable symptoms. Once a diagnosis is confirmed there can be so many mixed feelings; anger, shock, denial, relief, loss. All these feelings and responses are normal; it is part of coming to terms with the diagnosis.
When your MS is confirmed your neurologist will be able to answer many of your questions and may put you in touch with an MS nurse or give you details about MS Ireland. Some people find it easy to talk and ask questions, others need some time alone. It is important to realise however, that they are many people available to talk, inform and support you and your family when you are ready.
MS Ireland recommends that you contact one of our Regional Community Workers once you are diagnosed. Located all around the country, these professionals will be able to visit with you and/or your family at a time and place suitable for you. This private and confidential home visit allows you to talk about any fears or concerns you may have and will allow the Regional Community Worker to give you suitable information and support.
Source : www.ms-society.ie